Welcome back to work everyone. Hope your weekend was slow enough, even though we were robbed of an hour. Here's some stuff you might have missed this weekend that will help keep you distracted today.
Around Port St. Lucie
It was a weekend of .500 spring baseball for the Mets with wins against the Cardinals and the University of Michigan, but also back to back losses against the Washington Nationals on Saturday and Sunday. The most important storyline in these games is the fifth starter spot, which continues to be a black hole. Freddy Garcia pitched two shut out innings and Tim Redding got shelled by Michigan, while Livan Hernandez was merely adequate against the Nationals. Are we going to get Pedro?
Brandon Knight replaces Mike Pelfrey as today's starter against the Orioles. The game will be broadcast on SNY and MLB.TV.
The buzz about Ivan Rodriguez coming to the Mets is picking up some steam, especially after his strong WBC performance to date. Carlos Delgado is vouchingfor him, while in the process throwing the current Met catchers under the bus. Pudge would be an upgrade over Castro, but is it really worth eating all that salary?
Crashburn Alley compares the Mets to the Phillies, giving the Mets an advantage with an ace pitcher, closer, set up man, third base, and center field. The Phillies win out with advantages at first base, second base, left field, defense, catcher, back of starting rotation, bench, and base running. No real arguments here, but baserunning and defense? Really?
The Mets could save 3/4ths of Duaner Sanchez's $1.7 million contract if they cut him before they break camp.
Johan Santana pitched two innings in a simulated game over the weekend and says he is on pace for opening day.
Bill James ranks David Wright fourth behind Albert Pujols, Miguel Cabrera, and Ryan Braun in 2009 runs created.
Jose Reyes would be willing to switch to second base to accomodate Hanley Ramirez for the Dominican Republic WBC team.
Around the NL East
Beyond the Box Score takes an in-depth look at the value of the farm systems in the NL East. Florida and Atlanta are the class of the division with Washington badly struggling.
Jimmy Rollins tells fans to stop worrying about his health.
Florida's Andrew Miller is starting to show improvement.
The Braves bullpen is working through injuries, but could be awfully impressiveshould the cards fall properly.
John Mayberry Jr. is probably going to be a factor off Philadelphia's bench and Chan Ho Park and JA Happ are fighting it out for the fifth starter spot.
Here's a look at the Marlins' new ace pitching prospect, Chris Volstad. Beckett seems to think he's alright, that's gotta count for something.
Vladimir Guerrero is 34, not 33.
Randy Johnson thinks he can pitch until he's 50. I don't doubt him. The man is a freak.
I refuse to read this article just because the headline is so absurd: "Price won't be here until he arrives".
The Red Sox nixed a return of Nomar.
Matt Kemp thinks he can put up a 40-40 season. LA doesn't do a very good job of hyping it's young talent. If this guy was in New York I'm sure you'd know a lot more about him.
The Brewers released Eric Gagne so that he can rehab in Florida.
There is a pitcher named Billy Buckner? AWESOME! Anyway, Ken Griffey Jr. got his first hit of the spring.
Wow, simply wow. Omar Vizquel caught an 11 foot anaconda in Venezuela.
The economy is hurting Spring Training attendance. This can't be a good sign for this year's regular season attendance.
Here's a quick primer on some basic baseball statistics provided by Royals Review.